As you know if you read my last post, Friday was the first day of my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order. I assigned myself the area of Closets first so I could evaluate school clothes needs and begin to turn over seasonal clothing as fall is nearing.
As is often the case when we commit to action in any area, obstacles and distractions come hard and fast in the wake of inspiration and enthusiasm. The class Fireman was scheduled to teach Friday and Saturday was cancelled, so he was home those two days. Although I love having my guy around, I think most women would agree that the plans change when the Mister is home, bless his little heart.
There was also the matter of no cheese or cereal in the house Thursday evening, a dilemma worthy of rapid address if I was to avoid a mutiny in my home. So, instead of Hello Closets Friday morning, it was Hello Grocery Store. Finally, after lunch was then served to my crew of four ~ bless their little hearts ~ I tackled the boys’ closets.
My 15 year old is a jeans-and-graphic-t wearing boy whose first clothing priorities are comfortable and warm. He switches up the graphic t’s in the winter for long sleeves. He lives and breathes cinema. When he was four, he would sit and watch the extra features on DVD’s that explain sound effects/computer graphics used in the film, highlight interviews with actors, and commentaries from the producers/directors. Movie-making fascinates him, and his room reflects this passion. As do the graphic t’s.
(Mandatory aside: I remember reading an observation by Angela Thomas years ago in which she was sitting in her car outside the high school picking up her kids. As her children walked toward the car, she couldn’t help but notice their grungy-looking jeans, too-long hair, slumpy hoodies, and overall unkempt appearance. Her initial reaction was, “I never imagined my children looking like this when I first had babies and held them close and dressed them so perfectly!” But as she watched her kids get nearer, and she looked into their faces, her heart warmed intensely because she knew her kids’ hearts…knew that the hearts of those kids were good and kind and loving. And, in truth, isn’t that all that really matters?)
I’ve never forgotten that. And I remind myself of that oh-so-very-often.
Mister sophomore also loves to leave damp towels piled on the corner shelf of his closet. I don’t know why. Here is a Before:
There were blankets from previous room themes on the top shelf, his red, monogrammed Pottery Barn backpack which he used from 3rd-8th grade (sob!), and a pile of lounge pants 5 inches too short. My job was to go through and remove any items that were outgrown, clothing that wouldn’t DARE be worn for fashion sake (for instance, did you know that teenage boys won’t wear shorts now that fall higher than knee-length? Lesson learned). My son also requested I hold onto a couple wooden shields we crafted for Halloween costumes years ago which were stashed behind his closet door. He wasn’t ready to part with them…..and for the record, neither was I.
Here’s what the ended up with. Not a huge transformation, but definitely more clean, organized, and stylish.
We also kept the old leftover quilts from when the boys shared a room eons ago. They are of good quality, and we can use them for wrapping up at cold ball games, picnics at the park, impromptu living room forts, you know.
I added the blue and white baskets to organize socks and underthings. We’ve had these baskets in the garage for years holding mittens and hats, but they are much more useful in this space. And the bonus? I didn’t have to buy any.
On to closet #2. This belongs to our 14-year-old, a recovering Messy. I think. Or hope. Bless his little athletic heart.
Two dry-cleaned twin down comforters (to keep or to sell? still deciding…), way too many outgrown shirts, a jumble of who-knows-what-items in the wire drawer, Christmas lights from his headboard last year, and lots and lots of baseball belts.
And the After:
This one favors short-sleeved button downs worn open over t-shirts, so we sorted them out and kept the ones that fit well. He came up with the baseball belt hanger idea; I was just happy to see them all in one place. The brown baskets were, again, old ones we’ve had for awhile and hadn’t found a home for. They work great here to organize his socks and underthings.
The black and white signs are from Fireman’s moto-cross racing days. I loved to watch him ride! They add a little pizzazz to an otherwise bare-looking wall, and my son liked the idea of hanging them in his closet.
This boy has been telling me all summer he needed jeans, and when we cleaned out his closet, voila! The boy had NO jeans. None! (I later realized the two pair he did have were upstairs in the laundry, but jeans are definitely on his school clothes list.)
In my next post, I’ll share the changes we made to the master closet. It’s taking more than one day due to the fact I decided to paint walls in the midst of re-organizing. It’s taking a very long time to cut in around all that built-in shelving. Here’s a peek at progress:
I had a gallon of light blue paint purchased back in 2010 thinking we would paint our bedroom this color, but we went neutral instead. The paint looks fresh and bright against the white shelving (we were abundantly blessed with this closet ~ I am still humbled by it). Last night my oldest joined me while I painted because I was listening to C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters drama theatre, and he loves The Screwtape Letters. (Highly recommend if you enjoy pondering deep thoughts about Christianity from an intensely creative Devil’s perspective, or if you’re seeking rare bonding time with your drama-loving teenager).
Can’t wait to show you the other changes we made ~